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HomeNewsCalifornia voters like President Biden, but don't want him to seek reelection

California voters like President Biden, but don’t want him to seek reelection

President Joe Biden’s popularity with California voters has returned to its highest level since the summer of 2021, but they still don’t want him to seek re-election or Vice President Kamala Harris to run instead, according to a poll released Friday. has been held.

The Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll found that 57% of Californians approve of Biden’s job performance, up from 52% in September and 47% a year ago, but still below 59% in July 2021.

IGS co-director Eric Schickler said the Republican retake of the House of Representatives gives Biden a bit of a lift.

“With Republicans in control of the House, President Biden may have an easier time rallying Democrats and Democratic voters, who now see him championing the opposition rather than struggling to push his programs through a Democratic-controlled Congress when the expectations were. higher,” Schickler said.

Biden’s standing improved among fellow Democrats — from 72% to 86% in the past year. Significantly, however, among non-partisan independent voters, who account for nearly as many registered California voters as Republicans, his approval jumped from 43% to 54%.

While Biden struggled a year ago with voters under the age of 50, voters in San Diego and Orange counties, and male voters in general, he has now won back their approval. Regional is the highest presidential approval rating in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles.

But despite the president’s polls rising in big blue California, a Democratic stronghold he visited last month to survey storm damage in Santa Cruz County, 57% of the state’s voters don’t want him to run for a second term. in two years. That’s only a small drop from 61% last August.

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Biden’s re-election preferences improved among Democrats, from 46% in August to 57%. Of voters with no party preference, 60% say Biden should not run again, down just 5 percentage points from the 65% in August 2022. And the Republican opposition remains overwhelming at 85%.

The smaller proportion of Democrats supporting him seeking re-election than approving his job performance reflects concerns about his ability to win, IGS poll director Mark DiCamillo said, and “once you get away from party supporters, there’s more restraint and less support for him to get back to work.”

And the poll showed little interest in Vice President Kamala Harris, the former U.S. Senator from California, as an alternative to Biden should he decide not to run. Only 37% of voters in the state were enthusiastic about her running for president. While 57% of Democrats liked the idea, those numbers fell among other voters — 32% with no party preference and 8% of Republicans.

And those lukewarm feelings about Harris were constant across demographics, including the majority of women and men, whites, Hispanics, and Asian Americans.

Could the poll’s findings indicate an opening for Governor Gavin Newsom, often cited as a potential Democratic alternative to Biden and Harris? Newsom, easily re-elected in November, has increased his national exposure by buying ads in Florida and Texas criticizing their Republican leaders.

But the California governor and former mayor of San Francisco has repeatedly stressed that he is not planning a flight, to CBS News on November 4 that “it’s not my ambition” and defending Biden’s leadership as a “masterclass.” He said Politico later that month that he is “all in” with Biden’s re-election and would not get in the race even if the president chose not to run.

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Among Republican voters in California, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis now leads former President Donald Trump, the poll found. DeSantis, easily re-elected in his state, who was one of the few bright spots for the GOP in an otherwise disappointing midterm last fall, now leads a field of at least 11 declared or potential Republican presidential candidates as the preferred candidate among California’s GOP voters. by 37%.

In August 2022, the IGS poll found Trump to be the leading candidate for president among the state’s Republican voters – 38% to DeSantis’ 27%. But at 29%, Trump now trails DeSantis among those voters.

That means trouble for Trump’s 2024 campaign, DiCamillo said, because California has so many primary delegates. The poll found that 42% of Trump voters now favor DeSantis, up from 30% in August.

“There’s a huge defection out there,” DiCamillo said.

Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor who has also declared her intent to seek the nomination, doubled her status as the preferred choice among California’s Republican voters, but still trails DeSantis and Trump at 7%.

Regardless of how he gauges California, DeSantis is unlikely to move the Golden State to the red column in November 2024. The poll showed California voters would prefer Biden over DeSantis 54% to 31%, not much different from the 57% to 27% it found for a rematch between Biden and Trump.

The IGS survey, funded in part by the Los Angeles Times, was conducted online Feb. 14-20 in English and Spanish among 7,512 California-registered voters. The margin of error was plus or minus 2 percentage points among all California voters and 3.5 percentage points among the subgroup of 1,755 registered Republicans.

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